Following on from our article from last month, ‘Step eight – the pre-employment checks’, we look this month at the part of the process you will have been waiting for – the pre-employment training for Cabin Crew!
This really is the final hurdle, as your secured offer of employment is dependent on you passing your training – for many it will be the first ‘hands-on’ experience of the job. Candidates with previous experience of being crew should not get complacent either, as parts of the training will differ from airline to airline.
There may be a wait between the completion of the background and pre-employment checks and the commencement of your training. Some airlines might ask you to complete tasks online during this time, such as e-learning courses.
Are there costs involved in the training?
Your initial training will not usually cost you anything upfront. However, certain airlines will expect you to pay off the cost of your training over the course of your employment.
Some airlines allow you an allowance during the training period, which again may be deducted from your wages over a set period when you commence employment.
You might also have to pay for your own accommodation and meals during your training, or part of them. For example, an airline might cover your accommodation and breakfast costs, but not compensate you for lunch or dinner.
How long will the training last?
In general the training will be completed in around six weeks. However, this is a rule of thumb and can vary depending on the airline!
Some airlines who offer more choice in routes, cabin classes and aircraft may run a longer training course simply because there’s more content to cover.
There are two main parts to the training – safety and security, and service.
Ensuring the safety of the passengers on board is the main role of Cabin Crew. It stands to reason that this should make up such a large section of the course.
You can expect to cover:
- Pre-flight safety drills
- Emergency landing procedure (on land and water)
- Use of life rafts and life vests
- Cabin pressure loss procedure
- Firefighting and control
- First Aid
- Emergency resuscitation/CPR
- Use of on-board Safety Equipment
- Conflict Management, and occasionally basic self-defence!
- Security procedures, and dealing with dangerous goods and items onboard
There will also be a ‘wet-drill’ in which you’ll be asked to swim, practice survival techniques in the water and climb onto the life raft. There will also be a section on basic survival techniques which you would need to know following an emergency landing.
You’ll learn about the specifics of each type of aircraft you will be working on, including their layout, features and where the emergency exits and equipment are located. You’ll also be shown the door operation systems for each aircraft.
An important part of your training, Crew Resource Management, looks at communication between you and your fellow crew, and why it’s crucial to ensure that this is as good as possible so that there is less chance of miscommunication during an emergency.
There will also be training in customer service, passenger announcements, food and drink service and onboard sales. This includes the extra duties you may have to undertake in different cabin classes.
You’ll also receive advice on personal grooming, and how to you are expected to represent the airline to the highest standards at all times.
You will be assessed and tested on an ongoing basis during your training, and you MUST pass to go on to employment with the airline.
Some bits of the training are exciting and fun, but you also need to put in the work!
If there is anything that you’re struggling with or find unclear at any point then speak to one of your trainers as soon as possible – they’re there to help you!
Following the successful completion of your training you’ll be given a date for your first flight!
You’ll normally work under supervision on at least two flights before you officially earn your wings, when all of your hard work and perseverance will finally have paid off. After this you will be expected to complete ‘refresher’ training every year, to make sure your knowledge of the latest procedures is up to date.
Next time we’ll look at those first days in the sky, what will be expected of you and how to sail through your duties with ease!
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